Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tomato, Basil, and Red Wine "Risotto" with Aubergine

I am learning how to make vegetable "risotto". It is so simple and I feel myself getting healthier while eating it.

Real risotto requires minimal preparation time but quite a patient, long cooking time. Veggie risotto takes more preparation time but a fraction of the cooking time. Overall, I'm really happy with the "risotto" that I made out of turnip, which is pictured here.

First I used my spiralizer to make turnip noodles. (Here's my first spiralizer post and you can see which one I own by looking at the pictures and the links.) Then I took the turnip noodles and pulsed them in the food processor for about five seconds in total. I did this in batches, until all the turnip was turned into bits the size and shape of rice.

Vegetables are the perfect replacement for rice if you want to eat a lower carbohydrate diet. I have decided that veggie rice is actually more tasty than regular rice and just as versatile. In the past I have made riced cauliflower and recently I made rice out of daikon. Riced turnip worked so well because the turnip is firm enough to hold its shape yet it still cooks quickly. Also turnip is not an overpowering flavour, so it fits well in a dish like tomato, basil, and red wine "risotto". There are so many other flavours in this dish that there is a need for a neutral backdrop. Turnip rice plays that role perfectly.

Just like risotto, you can cook veggie rice to your desired doneness. I like my risotto still a little firm, possibly even a tad crunchy. But if you like your risotto softer, test it while cooking by biting into a little bit of the turnip rice to see if it has reached your desired texture.

Tomato, Basil, and Red Wine "Risotto" with Minced Pork and Sliced Aubergine (Eggplant)
serves 4
inspired by Donna Hay in New Food Fast and Inspiralized

2 small aubergines (eggplants), about 450 g total
mild olive oil
2 medium turnips, about 600 g total
300 g minced pork
1/2 c red wine (or vegetable stock)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c (20 g) shredded basil
1/2 c (50 g) grated parmesan cheese

Cut the aubergines into 1/2 cm slices. Brush on both sides with oil. Pan fry over high heat for four minutes on each side.
Do this in batches and then set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, spiralize the turnips into noodles. Place the noodles into a food processor and pulse briefly to create rice-sized pieces. Take care not to over-process.

In a large pan, heat some more oil and scramble fry the pork mince.
Add the riced turnip and red wine and stir to combine.
Cover and allow the rice to steam for five minutes.
Add the tomatoes. Cook for three minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil and parmesan cheese.
Serve the risotto topped with aubergine slices.

This dish is part of our Wednesdays with Donna Hay blogging group. If you want to join us, next week we are making spinach, feta, and pine nut baked risotto. Visit the others in my blogging group to see if they liked the recipe: Margaret from Tea and Scones, Gaye from Laws of the Kitchen, Kayte from Grandma's Kitchen Table, and Chaya from Bizzy Bakes.

What food would you recommend to make you feel healthier as you eat them?

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